We are working through the book of 1 Peter at our church. We are currently in chapter four and discussing the issue of the Christian and suffering. I have been studying this text and have been helped in fresh ways by its perspective. Read through this passage and look specifically for the three persons of the Trinity.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And“If the righteous is scarcely saved,what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Did you notice all three persons in the text. Peter is helping us see that the Trinity is intimately involved in our suffering. It is for the name of Christ that we suffer (4:14). It is the sufferings of Christ that we share (4:13). It is the Holy Spirit who rests upon us and enables us in the midst of our suffering (4:14a). It is the Spirit sent and given by the Father who causes us to persevere (4:14b). It is the will of the Father that we suffer (4:19). It is the Father who tests us in suffering (4:12). It is the faithful Father that we entrust our souls to in the midst of suffering (4:19). It is the Father we magnify through suffering (4:16). Peter is helping us understand that God is with us when we suffer for God. There is a unique sense in which we commune with the Triune God in our suffering. Through suffering we come to better know the suffering Servant, we experience more intimately the Spirit of glory, and we grow in our trust of the faithful Creator. This should be a tremendous encouragement to us in the midst of our suffering. God has not left us—-He is as close as ever! I believe the Triune presence and purpose in our suffering is what enables us to rejoice in any circumstance as we are called to in this passage.